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English Programs for Internationals


EPI Academic Policies

Placement

You will be placed in the core classes based on your scores on the placement exams (test of listening, grammar, and reading; writing test, and oral interview). You will be placed in the best level for you so that you can make the most progress in your English language learning. It is not unusual for students to place into different levels for the 3 core courses. For example, a student may place in WG1, RV3, and SL2.

If, after you have attended the first two classes, you feel that you need to move down or up a level, do the following: (EPI does not allow lateral moves.)

  1. Tell your instructor and ask for a Placement Change Request or copy one from this booklet.
  2. Complete the Placement Change Request and give it to your instructor.
  3. Keep the receipts for your textbooks and do not write in the books (in case you need to return them to the bookstore.)
  4. Attend all your classes and wait for the EPI faculty to meet and discuss your request at the Final Placement Meeting, which is usually Wednesday afternoon of Week 2. The decision will be given to you on the next day in your WG class.

EPI faculty members decide students’ placement in core courses based upon the placement criteria. EPI students do not select their class levels.

Attendance:

EPI expects students to attend 100% of their classes. If a student fails to attend at least 80% of the classes for any course, the student will fail that course. Students must pass ALL of their EPI classes with 80% or better. This requirement means the following:

  • If students fail ANY class due to poor attendance (defined as less than 80%), they will be on probation.
  • If students are on probation for poor attendance AND they fail all three of their classes due to poor attendance, their I-20 will be immediately terminated.
  • If they attend less than 50%  of all their EPI classes in ANY of their EPI classes, their I-20 will be terminated.
  • Each class is expected to begin at the posted time. If a student arrives after this time, s/he will be counted tardy. If a student accrues three tardies, the three tardies together will be counted as one absence.
  • If a student arrives 15 minutes late or more, s/he will be counted absent for the day.

Medical Issues and Attendance

If students become sick or have a medical problem, the problem must be documented by a medical doctor and communicated to the EPI office and to their EPI instructors as soon as possible. If a student is not in class, that student is absent. However, if ALL of the absences are due to sickness or to a medical condition documented by a doctor, students should bring their medical records to the EPI office as soon as possible to discuss what they need to do.

Progress Policy

U.S. immigration requires students studying in the U.S, to attend and make satisfactory progress in their program. (In EPI “satisfactory progress” means that most students should take no more than two terms to complete a level.) In the next term, EPI will give a warning letter to any students who are repeating a class for the third time that they MUST progress to the next level in that course or they must either return to their country or transfer to another program where they can be more successful.

For example, if a student is in RV3 for the second time this term and at the end of this term does not make enough progress to move to RV4, that student will be on probation. If he or she does not move to level 4 at the end of that term, that student must transfer to another program or return to their country.

Promotion to a Higher Level:

Promotion to a higher level is determined by mastery of student learning outcomes (see the Student Achievement Scale), grades, and end-of-term test scores. More specifically, to be promoted from one level to the next in any course, a student must:

  • Demonstrate mastery of student learning outcomes for the course in which you are enrolled (you will receive a "progress checklist" outlining your achievement of student learning outcomes via in-class work and assessments at the end of each term);
  • Earn a grade of 'A' or 'B,' and;
  • Obtain the minimum score (or higher) required for placement in the next course level.

If a student earns a grade of 'A' or 'B' and demonstrates mastery of the student learning outcomes for the course but does not meet the minimum placement score required for placement in the next level, the faculty may recommend that the student retest.

Academic Integrity:

Students at the English Programs for Internationals must be truthful and honest. Plagiarism or cheating of any kind is unacceptable. There are severe penalties for any student who cheats or plagiarizes (that is, takes text or ideas from another source and presents them as his or her own).

Penalties
In each case, faculty will evaluate the circumstances and determine if the honesty violation is accidental or deliberate.

Accidental Plagiarism
If the faculty member determines the incident is accidental:

  1. The student will be instructed in proper conduct to avoid future violations.
  2. A report will be made and placed in the student’s file.

Deliberate Plagiarism
If the faculty member determines the incident is deliberate:

Deliberate but minor (1or 2 sentences, lack of proper citation, a second “accidental”
violation, etc.)

  1. The student will be instructed in proper conduct to avoid future violations.
  2. Student will be required to redo the assignment/paper, however, a grade penalty of -20% will be imposed.
  3. A report will be made and placed in the student’s file.

Deliberate major violation (whole paragraphs or more or second “minor’” violations)

  1. Student will automatically fail the assignment.
  2. Student will be required to redo the assignment properly and will fail the course if the assignment is not completed.
  3. A letter of warning will be given to the student.
  4. A report is made and placed in the student’s file.

Second major violation

  1. Student will automatically fail the course.
  2. The student’s file will be updated and the future university will be notified of the violations when the student transfers.

Third major violation

  1. Student will be suspended from EPI; i.e., must transfer to another program.
  2. New program will be notified of the reasons for the transfer.

Academic Integrity Violations on Assessments
Academic integrity violations on assessments, such as quizzes, tests, and placement/proficiency testing may take many forms, including - but not limited to - copying, plagiarizing, unauthorized consultation of notes or other sources (e.g., mobile phones, textbooks, translation applications, etc.), and unauthorized communication with classmates. The penalties for academic integrity violations follow:

  1. Cheating or plagiarizing on in-class assessments (tests/quizzes) is a major violation and will result in a zero grade on the assessment with, at the teacher’s discretion, no possibility of retaking the assessment.
  2. Plagiarism or cheating of any kind during EPI final exams is a major violation and will result in failure of the course, a recommendation to repeat the course (level), and referral to the UofSC Office of Academic Integrity.
New Student Transfer-In Policy

New students, who wish to transfer to EPI from another English language program, must complete the application process required of all new students.  In addition, students must request a transcript of their academic work from the program from which they intend to transfer be sent directly to EPI.  If the transcript shows attendance has not been sufficient to meet EPI’s requirement of at least 80% or poor performance (grades below a 2.0 GPA), that student will NOT be accepted.

Returning Student Transfer-In Policy

Former EPI students who transferred from EPI in good standing (no required transfer) will be accepted in EPI with the same standards as the New Student Transfer-In Policy.

Former EPI students who were required by EPI policy to transfer-out MAY be accepted if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Have successfully* completed at least one full term of study at another program.
  2. Will be retested and placed according to the results of EPI’s placement tests.  If a student was required to transfer out of EPI having been in levels WG4, RV4, SL5 and is retested into level WG3, RV4, SL4, the student will be placed in these “lower” levels and NO re-testing will be allowed.
  3. Students who were required to transfer out due to poor attendance will be on probation the first term that they return.
  4. Students who were required to transfer out due to poor progress will be placed according to EPI’s placement tests and given two opportunities to advance to the next level.

* Successfully completed is defined by a grade of C (2.0 GPA) or better and 80% attendance or better in all courses.

Other Returning Student Policy

Former EPI students who left EPI in good standing and have been out of the country for 2 or more terms may be accepted as new students.  However, they will be retested and placed according to the latest placement test scores, not on previous terms’ data. Additionally, prior study in EPI will continue to factor into students' EPI grade point average (GPA), which will factor into decisions regarding eligibility for admission to the University of South Carolina.

EPI Registration Policy

EPI expects students to attend 100% of their classes.  Therefore, EPI requires students to report to EPI and complete registration so that they can begin classes on the first day of class.

  1. New students MAY be permitted to register late if they are able to provide documentation that proves their late arrival was due to delays with obtaining a visa or other delay beyond the control of the student. New students with no documentation will be required to transfer to another program.
  2. Returning students must complete registration, have been tested and paid fees or presented an acceptable sponsor letter, no later than 5 pm on the day before classes begin. Returning students who have not completed registration by the day before classes begin will be required to transfer to another program.
  3. Returning students who have completed registration must pick up their schedule and begin classes no later than the first day of class.
    Returning students who pick up their schedule late (any time after the first day of class) will be marked absent.
    Returning students who attempt to pick up their schedule after the day of class will be required to transfer to another program.
  4. EPI does support the once-in-a-lifetime events in a student’s life (e.g., the wedding of a close family member).  However, the student MUST provide documentation.  Students who do not provide documentation will be required to transfer to another program.